It’s telling that the main comparison point Apple made between its new . Part of a program of sorts from Microsoft to more directly compete with Apple. AMD already makes its Ryzen chips for Windows machines and is a popular alternative to Intel, and Nvidia is one of the go-to GPU manufacturers for gamers and developers, alike. Either company creating CPUs designed to work with the growing list of AI features in Windows wouldn’t be unfounded, but it could radically change the PC laptop landscape.
That is, if Windows itself catches up.
Windows on Arm, and AI
Historically, Microsoft and its partners haven’t had the easiest job getting Windows running on Arm-powered devices. The
Panos Panay, the chief product officer in charge of the Surface line and Microsoft’s larger “Windows and Devices” division, left for Amazon in September. Possibly due to issues with Microsoft’s cuts to his hardware division and the company’s focus on AI, Insider reports. Whatever the actual reason, without Panay at the helm, there’s a sense that the adventurous days of Surface hardware are over. That doesn’t mean other manufacturers won’t pick up the slack, but it’s disappointing all the same.
Competition is heating up
I’m not overly devoted to the idea that fairer, more equal competition solves everything about the current PC marketplace (or capitalism in general) but if the stars do align for Windows PCs like it seems like they might in the next two years, there’s real reason to think that choosing between a Windows machine or Mac is going to become a lot harder than it used to be, especially if performance, battery life, and build quality are your main concerns.
That’s not just good for anyone already deep inside Microsoft’s ecosystem whether for work or pleasure, that’s good for Mac users too. As of late, Apple has been surprisingly reactive to the changing tides of computer trends, and ahead of the curve in the widespread adoption of Arm-based custom silicon. If Windows laptops suddenly get that much more competitive, I have to imagine Macs will get better in response.